From the Archives: #1032, A Horrid Wire Fence Bars the Path

The image captured on the card is good in its own right, but the poem that accompanies it on the backside, puts it over the top:

"Two pretty French maidens, just out for a spin
Espied a cool lane which they straightway turned in
Away from the heat and the dust of the highway,
They sought the cool depths of the flower bordered pathway
But a cruel and horrid wire fence barred the road,
Which, not to be daunted, they quickly bestrode;
(Not knowing, of course, that, with boldness most shocking
The snap shotter caught most a yard of one stocking)."

I recently espied this stereo card for sale at the annual Pilgrim Festival here in Claremont, and naturally grabbed it up straight away. Stereo cards were popular from the 1850s to the 1930s. They slotted into a special viewer - stereoscope - which allowed the viewer to see the image with a 3-D effect, much like the more recent "viewmaster" devices many of us had as kids. Tons of these cards reside in museum collections around the world, while untold others pop up at yard sales, and in antique shops, now and again. They are interesting little bits of photographic history, and provide glimpses of life in a different era. Sometimes the publisher is noted on the card, as well as a number and title; in this case only the number and title are given.